Nov 17, 2021
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Amazon to stop accepting Visa credit cards in Britain

Nov 17, 2021

Amazon.com will stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the United Kingdom from next year because of high transaction fees, the e-commerce giant said on Wednesday.

“As a result of Visa’s continued high cost of payments, we regret that Amazon.co.uk will no longer accept UK-issued Visa credit cards as of 19 January, 2022,” Amazon said in a statement.

Amazon said such charges should be “going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise”.

Amazon customers can still use Visa debit cards, Mastercard and Amex credit cards, and Eurocard, the company said in a note to its customers.

A Visa spokesperson declined to comment on the charges, but the company said in a statement it was “disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice”.

“We continue to work toward a resolution, so our cardholders can use their preferred Visa credit cards at Amazon UK without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022,” Visa added.

Since Britain’s exit from the European Union, an EU-enforced cap on fees charged by card issuers is no longer in place in the UK, meaning providers are free to hike charges.

Following the Amazon announcement, first reported by Bloomberg News, the UK Trade Commission urged the British government to improve the UK-EU trade agreement.

The group, comprising 10 lawmakers as well as several business leaders and economists, was set up in April to provide independent scrutiny of Britain’s trade deals with Europe and the rest of the world.

“If Amazon can’t make it work, with all their resources and ability to navigate legislation to avoid costs, then small businesses have no chance and so the government must improve the UK-EU trade and cooperation agreement to keep British businesses competitive,” the Commission said in a statement.

The British Retail Consortium said retailers in the United Kingdom faced higher charges for cross border payments, following Britain’s departure from the European Union.

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